Policymakers in our region have not done enough to address widespread financial insecurity among hardworking families.

One in four households don’t have access to safe, affordable financial products. Nearly half have less than three months of savings.

A number of asset building groups are rallying communities to advocate for change. In 2014, we decided to listen to, learn from, and support this work by making a three-year, $4 million grant commitment to a cohort of eight asset building groups—three that work in Native communities—to improve policy at the state and tribal levels.

Over these three years, they’ll continuously learn from each other and adapt their work to develop policy to:

The cohort met this past summer in our St. Paul offices to share the results and lessons learned from their first year and to focus on policy they’ll be advancing in the upcoming year.

In this series of weekly blog entries, you’ll learn how they’re doing their work and where to find out more information about it and the great insights and practices they’re developing.

So far, the cohort groups have had two policy wins (in Oregon and Montana) and achieved a number of milestones, including collaboration across sectors and party lines and innovative uses of storytelling.

You’ll also find means to stay updated on the work and useful tools and resources. If you haven’t done so already, check out a couple useful tools featured in the Knowledge Sharing portion of our website:

  • CFED’s Scorecard which provides data, customizable reports, and policy solutions by state
  • Planning to Win, a simple, six step process to create winning policy campaigns

Finally, NWAF program officer Christianne Lind and representatives from CFED and other cohort members participated on an EXCELLENT and informative webinar yesterday (September 16) through the Asset Funders Network. You can catch the recording and related info, or follow what was said on Twitter by searching the hashtag: #AFNFunderStrategy.

We’re posting the first entry simultaneously with this one. It’s on the Idaho Asset Building Network.

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